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How to choose a new IT provider in 7 easy steps

Deciding on a new IT provider can be tough.  What factors should you take into account?

There’s usually one of three reasons why you’d be looking for a new provider.

1) Current provider is slow or giving a bad service

2) You’ve had a security breach or data loss.

3) You feel that there’s a more progressive technology company.


These are usually the 3 top items that we hear about regularly when local business come to speak to us. In this article, you will learn the 7 questions to ask any new IT provider about their business before you sign an  IT Support contract.

1) What’s your average time to respond?

If you’ve got an IT problem more than likely you want a speedy response.  This is always the first question to ask.  Take note that most IT service providers will be within 15 minutes or less – that’s why you need to ask this:

2)  What’s your average time to fix a problem?

Of course, it depends on the issue but and can sometimes be a difficult question to answer – the data is there in their helpdesk system so ask for this information prior to the meeting.  They should have it on file.

3)  Is your service stable?

This is a farily open-ended question which can fire back an array of responses.  The real insight you are trying to obtain here is what their staff turn over is.  It takes engineers a certain amount of time to get up to speed and familiar with your IT infrastructure.  High turnover can lead to bad service.

4)  How often will I see you?

More than likely you’ll see an engineer often.  However, the business owner or account manager is an entirely different question.  Their insight into technology can provide value to you as a business owner so it’s worth meeting at least once a quarter.

5) How do you keep up with Technology?

It’s no use having an old dog that’s learnt no new tricks.  Imperative that you find out how any IT provider learns, tests and deploys new technology to their clients.

6)  What’s your value add?

By this point in the meeting, you’ve probably extracted a lot of information and had more than likely come to some form of a decision in your head. This open-ended question will allow you to gain some insight into their unique selling point.

From experience, if you find them talking about how cheap they are, avoid.  Technology is an investment in your business.  Low investments don’t give good returns.

7) Clear Pricing

The meeting is over, proposals are in, but how clear is their pricing structure? Do you know how much you’re going to be billed on a monthly basis?  A simple thing to miss by looking at the bottom figure but are things like backups included?  What additional cybersecurity measures are an additional cost and why?

To help you with this exercise we’ve come up with a scorecard, please reach out if you would like a copy of this for your next IT meeting.